Art Basel Settles Trademark Infringement Lawsuit Against Adidas

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Earlier this year, Art Basel sued the sportswear brand Adidas over a series of sneakers bearing the art fair’s name without permission. Now, the suit is no longer: the two enterprises have reached a settlement, a spokesperson for Art Basel told ARTnews today.

The lawsuit was filed this past May, after white Adidas sneakers with “ART BASEL” emblazoned on their tongues appeared at events related to Art Basel Miami Beach in 2016. Soon after, the shoes began selling online on websites such as eBay, where they can be acquired now for prices ranging from around $100 to $500. Art Basel filed a trademark infringement suit and told the Miami Herald that the sneakers “deliberately [misrepresent] an association, show partner, sponsorship, or other affiliation with the fair.” The suit called for Adidas to destroy any remaining Art Basel–related shoes and to pay damages for “diluting” its trademark.

In a statement issued after the settlement of the suit, Adidas said, “During the Art Basel show in Miami Beach in 2016, Adidas gave away a limited number of shoes bearing both the Art Basel trademark and the Adidas trademark. Adidas did not obtain a license to use the Art Basel mark for these shoes, and Adidas was not a partner with or a sponsor of the Art Basel show. Adidas regrets these actions and is pleased that the lawsuit filed by Art Basel has been settled amicably.”